OMG. I just found my new favorite restaurant. Angelina’s Pizzeria recently opened in Irvine (in the new Whole Foods center over by the Irvine Spectrum) and I am welcoming it with open arms. I was invited to come try their new brunch menu and from the moment I walked in, I knew that this would be a game changer for Irvine and the surrounding area. Everything about it was fresh and cool which isn’t usually what you’d expect from a restaurant found in Irvine. While we have lots of decent dining options, this one is a stand out and I think everyone needs to run down and check it out.
This was my first time in this center and I decided to drive around so I could check it out. From the outside, this center looks REAL similar to all the other neighborhood centers in the city. And the nondescript exterior doesn’t even hint at how special the interior of Angelina’s Pizzeria is. Even with the mix of dark woods and rich materials, the restaurant seems bright and airy. The soft blue of the chairs is the perfect pop of color to coordinate with the marble and wood tones. The design of the restaurant is a mix of retro and modern that feels welcoming and really cool at the same time. I had no idea what to expect prior to my first visit and was pleasantly surprised when I entered the restaurant. The kitchen is open in the sense that you can see the pizza oven (not pictured – but SUPER amazing) but this bar area closes it off so that you can’t really see what is going on in there. The gorgeous blue and white patterned wall tiles paired with the glowing orange lights are breathtaking. There is nothing else like this in Irvine. It feels elegant and casual at the same time. This restaurant is somewhere you want to go on a date night and then bring your whole family back the next day. Plus all the staff was so welcoming. I wanted to run home and tell all my neighbors about it. Irvine has a history of restaurants not staying very long. I’m hoping with the location of this restaurant (so much easier to get in to and out of then the Spectrum) and the crazy good food, it will be around for a really long time.
As I tend to do, I looked at the brunch menu before heading to the restaurant. There were three dishes that I had my eye on (entrees ran about $15 each). We decided to go with a great family style brunch deal for two people where you choose 1 pizza for the table and 2 other dishes plus you get a carafe of fresh Bellinis or mimomsas (a carafe is at least 2 drinks per person) for $30. I highly recommend you checking this out! It’s a great way to try several dishes that you have your eye on. I love to do a sweet and savory so of course we had to get the waffle. Don’t let the fairly basic look of the waffle fool you. This might just be the best waffle I’ve ever had. Crusty bits of caramelized sugar were strewn throughout and instead of syrup they serve honey with it. LIFE CHANGING. No joke. I have been thinking about this waffle ever since and will be heading back soon. When you see a great pizza oven, like the one at Angelina’s, you HAVE to get a pizza. The breakfast pizza was delicious with flavorful sausage and A perfectly cooked egg. The crust is AMAZING. And while the potatoes look simple, they were the perfect crispiness on the outside and soft in the center. There is no pretentious presentation here. It’s simple, delicious food with quality ingredients. Their pastas also sounded amazing so we tried the Ravioli Burro de Saliva which were stuffed with ricotta and spinach and sautéed in Italian butter and sage… SO GOOD. We were super happy with our choices but there are a ton of other great items I can’t wait to try like their fritattas and their Nutella calzone. They make their Bellinis fresh every morning and the bartender prepares and presses the fresh peaches by hand. What?! This is the carafe of fresh Bellinis that came with our family style meal. My friend and I both had to drive home so we didn’t really even make a dent in this carafe but it was the best Bellini I’ve had. And now I know to Uber to brunch next time. This restaurant is the perfect place for your next girl’s brunch. The atmosphere is calm but fun. The morning I was there they had a fantastic indie playlist going which I loved. We ended the meal with a Cocoaccino and some tiramisu. The Cocoaccino is a delicious cappuccino served in a Nutella coated cup! YUM! And the tiramisu was out of this world. Everything about Angelina’s Pizzeria was done right. From the service (our server and bartender were easy-going and friendly) to the decor and, of course, the amazing food, they knocked it out of the park. I couldn’t stop thinking about the pizza dough so my husband and I went back for a date night a few weeks later. The regular menu was full of delicious fresh salads, pastas and entrees. But I had to have that dough. It was just as good as I remembered. I was super happy to see that the restaurant was full on a Monday night which I hope means that people are finding Angelina’s and falling in love with it like I have.
Angelina’s Pizzeria also has a location in Dana Point although the decor is not the same as the Irvine location. Both restaurants feature a menu of Napoletana style pizza and specialty dishes like handmade pastas with imported ingredients that Chef Sandro believes provide the best Italian flavors.
Have you been yet? I can’t wait to hear what you think!
Los Olivos Marketplace
8573 Irvine Center Drive
Irvine CA 92618